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The Help Hardcover – February 10, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. What perfect timing for this optimistic, uplifting debut novel (and maiden publication of Amy Einhorn's new imprint) set during the nascent civil rights movement in Jackson, Miss., where black women were trusted to raise white children but not to polish the household silver. Eugenia Skeeter Phelan is just home from college in 1962, and, anxious to become a writer, is advised to hone her chops by writing about what disturbs you. The budding social activist begins to collect the stories of the black women on whom the country club sets relies and mistrusts enlisting the help of Aibileen, a maid who's raised 17 children, and Aibileen's best friend Minny, who's found herself unemployed more than a few times after mouthing off to her white employers. The book Skeeter puts together based on their stories is scathing and shocking, bringing pride and hope to the black community, while giving Skeeter the courage to break down her personal boundaries and pursue her dreams. Assured and layered, full of heart and history, this one has bestseller written all over it. (Feb.)
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From Bookmarks Magazine
In writing about such a troubled time in American history, Southern-born Stockett takes a big risk, one that paid off enormously. Critics praised Stockett's skillful depiction of the ironies and hypocrisies that defined an era, without resorting to depressing or controversial clich√©s. Rather, Stockett focuses on the fascinating and complex relationships between vastly different members of a household. Additionally, reviewers loved (and loathed) Stockett's three-dimensional characters—and cheered and hissed their favorites to the end. Several critics questioned Stockett's decision to use a heavy dialect solely for the black characters. Overall, however, The Help is a compassionate, original story, as well as an excellent choice for book groups.
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Top customer reviews
I read a little of this novel but, for the most part, I listened to the audiobook version. It's worth every penny to pay for the narration. They went all out in producing this audiobook. Usually, you only get one narrator in an audiobook. But this book had four narrators. So there were a plethora of voices to help distinguish between the characters so that the reader/listener knows who is speaking.
And the book was FUNNY. It's not a comedy... it's a drama. But I love funny books and the author threw in just the perfect amount of laughs in this piece. Come to think of it, though, if chocolate pie is your favorite pie, maybe you'd better not read this book.... I may never eat chocolate pie again. But it was worth it to have read/listened to this book.